DOMESTIC violence is a critical issue for women: two are killed by a current or former male partner every week, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, has said.
During a House of Lords debate on Tuesday, Bishop Treweek said that, while she did not wish to play down domestic abuse against men, “on average two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner, while approximately 750,000 children in England and Wales witness domestic violence every year.
“No woman should be forced to choose between her safety and that of her children, or maintaining a roof over her head. Yet this is a tragic dilemma for many women and children.”
Bishop Treweek was speaking during the second reading of the Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Violence) Bill, which she said that she was “delighted” to support.
She hoped that the Bill would progress through the Lords “to ensure that the most vulnerable have increased opportunities to leave oppressive and unacceptable home environments”.
The Bill is the Government’s attempt to make it easier for people who have suffered domestic violence to leave their homes. It will allow victims who have a lifetime social tenancy to move to a new home also with lifetime tenancy, if they are granted one.
Lord Bourne, the minister for Communities and Local Government in the House of Lords, said that the Government was “absolutely committed to supporting victims of domestic abuse — it is a high priority for the Prime Minister”.
Responding, Baroness Lister (Labour) said that “secure housing is not only a practical need for women and children fleeing abuse, but is integral to their safety and recovery.”